Some of Jubilee MPs want the electoral body to declare Uhuru Kenyatta elected unopposed after his challenger, Raila Odinga, withdrew from the repeat poll.
MPs Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Kanini Kega (Kieni), Gideon Keter (nominated), and Catherine Waruguru (Laikipia) were among those who yesterday said the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission(IEBC) has no option but to hand victory to their candidate.
Kuria cited his own example in 2014, saying IEBC declared him the winner of a by-election after his sole challenger, Joachim Kamere, pulled out of the race. “A precedent was set in August 2014 when my name was gazetted as the Gatundu MP less than two weeks to the elections. This was after my competitor, on his own volition, opted out of the race. Since Raila has done the same, we expect IEBC to declare Kenyatta elected unopposed,” said Kuria.
Kega said: "In a situation where there are two candidates and one pulls out of the race voluntarily, the remaining one should be declared the winner and sworn into office. That is the only logical thing for IEBC to do.” Keter said Raila’s withdrawal did not come as a surprise. "It has been clear that he is not ready for the repeat election. “The only candidate left in the repeat presidential race, Uhuru Kenyatta, should be declared the winner. There is no need to waste taxpayers' money going for another election.”
While making the announcement yesterday, Raila asked IEBC to cancel the October repeat presidential election, noting that his decision meant that fresh nominations must be held. Waruguru, the Laikipia woman representative, asked the Opposition chief to stop issuing ultimatums and conditions to the IEBC. "Raila does not have authority to do so since he quit the presidential race," she said.
Waruguru added: “When you opt out of a contest, you have no authority to give conditions to the remaining candidate or agencies. The former prime minister chose to quit on his own and what will happen from now henceforth as far as the elections are concerned should be the least of his concerns.” Tharaka MP Maoka Maore claimed that Raila’s withdrawal created room for President Kenyatta’s swearing-in. “This means the President will now be sworn in. It will save this country from the strangulation and the economic meltdown we have found ourselves in after the nullification of the presidential outcome." Economic meltdown Maore added: "Raila has been misled by his lawyers.
If he knew he didn’t want elections, why did he go to the Supreme Court to nullify the August 8 election results? He didn’t expect the court to rule in his favour and that is why he has been unable to hit the campaign trail.” Maore said Raila failed to sustain a campaign and decided to withdraw after putting many roadblocks in the way of President Kenyatta's swearing-in. "Once Uhuru has been sworn in, we will free this country from the Raila bondage as well as from a rogue Judiciary. We need our country back,” said the MP.
Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung'wa said there are only two options, either to swear in President Kenyatta or proceed with the October 26 polls without Raila. MPs William Cheptumo (Baringo North), Jimmy Agwenyi (Kitutu Chache North), and Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu) also dismissed Raila’s withdrawal, terming it 'inconsequential'. Cheptumo said Raila's showed the Opposition was not ready for the election. “They are opposed to the new laws which are for posterity and not individuals,” he said. The House yesterday went ahead with debate on the controversial electoral laws. Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni said the nullification of Uhuru's win gave Raila a chance to embarrass Kenya.